Since January 27, the TV series Resident Alien has been released on the SyFy TV channel. A wrecked alien on Earth accidentally gets stuck in a small town. The alien played by the brilliant Alan Tudik from Firefly has to play the doctor – and at the same time get to know humanity better. We explain why such series are now more than ever on time.
The slogan “Blast from Space” sounds like “a sci-fi dramedy with a doctor that the Earth needs now.” To agree with this, three released episodes are enough – yes, in fact, in the first show, its concept has already worked out.
Comic book adaptations continue to evolve: by 2021, we have the satirical Boys, the ultra-sexy Lucifer, the iZombie criminal procedural, and a whole host of series of different genres. “Zasslanets” occupies one more niche.
This is a dramedy in its purest form: in one second the hero is absurdly learning to brush his teeth, and the next time a colleague openly tells him about his childhood with his adoptive father. And within the genre, the show does everything it needs to make you laugh and soften from the touchingness of what is happening.
Blind From Outer Space is based on the 2012 Resident Alien comic series from Dark Horse. It’s funny that one of the authors, Steve Parkhouse, worked a lot on comics about “Doctor Who” – the most famous alien in the UK.
For the most part, both the heroes and the main plot have been preserved in the film adaptation. The central character of the series is the alien biologist Han Ryo, who looks like every second alien from the horror films of the 70-80s. Khan himself pilots his battleship, but is wrecked on Earth. Later it turns out that he had a mission – to destroy the planet and all its inhabitants.
The genocide of earthlings has to be postponed, because during the accident Khan lost his equipment. The only way to survive and finish your business is to join the ranks of the residents of the town of Patience (yes, in the original the name sounds like Patience). The Khan people know how to use a special “molecular disguise”, so they kill the first person they come across and actually “put on” his face.
It is later revealed that Khan did not choose the disguise very well. The fact is that the only doctor for all Patience dies under mysterious circumstances. And Khan had just reincarnated as the medical specialist Harry Vanderspiegel, who often came to Patience to rest. And when the locals come to Vanderspiegel with a request for help, there is only one thing to do – to replace their doctor, to behave naturally and not get burnt in front of the residents of the town.
It should be said right away: the series is 75% based on the charisma of Alan Tudik (“Firefly”, “Serenity”, “Fatal Patrol”), another 5% – on personal nostalgia for “Firefly”, and only the remaining 20% on everything else … But that doesn’t make the show a bad one. At the heart of “Blast from Space” is a very simple and familiar comedic idea of dressing up as another person.
It was important that the execution of this idea did not look like a stupid antics, did not seem terribly unnatural and, preferably, also touched. And Alan Tudik is capable of all of the above. Moreover, in his new hero, you still feel a drop of sarcastic Wash.
In some places, Harry’s attempts to get used to the image of an ordinary earthling look very stupid, but mostly it is filmed surprisingly realistic. True, not in terms of graphics; SyFy does not have very large budgets. But funny script details catch on: for example, Harry learns to talk on the police series Law and Order, so he meets the criminal secrets of the city with a joyful “PA-BAM!” from the splash screen. And his monologue “I feel sad and lonely, or am I just hungry?” describes people better than any lengthy discussion of humanity.
At the same time, Harry has just a lot of new acquaintances. Nurse Asta (Sara Tomko), who worked with the previous doctor, helps him in his work and life. Asta was a Native American in the comic, and in the series she closely resembles the matured Pocahontas. In addition to her, the city has a sheriff straight from the American comedies of the 90s, a young mayor of the city who received the offensive nickname “snowflake”, slightly turned on the bad guys of the bartender – one of whom she considers Harry – and so on.
In “Zasslanets” the magic of a small town is fully used, where everyone knows each other. Therefore, vile jokes and disputes between neighbors are constantly used. And Harry at every step stumbles upon his main antagonist – we will not reveal his name in order to avoid spoilers.
But this confrontation is so funny and ridiculous that it’s hard not to smile. The show seems to show some pretty serious things: loss, loneliness, violence, but comedy creates an almost perfect balance. This is a relaxed, pleasant sight that evokes enough emotions that you don’t want to switch from the series to something else.
And most importantly, the pluses are not limited to Alan Tudick and a decent provincial setting. In “Slash from Space” there is a simple, but not stupid plot. The main intrigue is obvious: will others be able to convince him that the Earth should not be destroyed?
And in parallel with this, enough is happening in the city to catch attention: the mysterious story of the previous doctor, a possible romance for Harry, who is completely not adapted to normal life. And, of course, his fight with the main enemy, who has the ability to bring him to clean water.
According to the first 3 episodes, “Zasslanets” is good from all sides. This is a decent and close to the original film adaptation, sometimes repeating the comic in whole scenes. It has a sea of acting talent, a good plot, a bit of science fiction and an alien who, in any incomprehensible situation, drives other people’s words through the Urban Dictionary. Such a concentration of good stupidity and positiveness is definitely not enough now.
Review is based on the first three episodes.